This past summer, Harden expressed his dismay with Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey. He went as far as to label Morey as a liar while in China on a promotional trip. This type of behavior is something we’ve been becoming accustomed to with Harden in recent years. For one reason or another, he forced his way out of both Houston and Brooklyn. And things almost certainly get a little contentious before the respective parties come to terms.
It’s understandable for teams to be leery of Harden. By all accounts, the fellas in Philly seem to really enjoy playing with him. That chemistry should trump any issues being had, but it just doesn’t go that way. If wishes were fishes, the world would be an ocean. And it seems like perfect harmony in an organization with Harden might be too much to ask for. Admittedly, I’m hoping not.
Essentially, as it has been reported, Harden’s gripe is that Morey made some promises to him that weren’t going to be fulfilled. According to reports, Harden took pay cuts for last season to help the team retool. According to CBS Sports, Harden was also told that a trade would be found for him that would allow him to make up for the money he gave up in last year’s season. Now that he’s up for a new contract, the maximum money he was reportedly promised doesn’t seem to be available for him. It’s a fair reason to be upset. But there’s also such an irony at play here, as well.
Simply put, this is an inconvenience for Harden. These frustrations can also stem from Morey seemingly not being a man of his word. He apparently hasn’t held up his own commitment. But one could suppose that there have been instances in the past where Harden also didn’t keep his own commitments professionally. Could this be a case of poetic justice? Time will surely tell.
We have no way of knowing if Harden plans to let bygones be bygones. However, I do believe it would behoove him to try and make things work so that he can at least increase his number of suitors. We know that Harden participated in Sixers practice this week at Colorado State University. From all accounts, he was a full participant. Maybe this can bloom into a forgotten fiasco if this season gets off to a good start for the Sixers.
With an Eastern Conference that has clearly gotten stronger with the addition of Damian Lillard heading to Milwaukee, it’ll be tough. Tough, but not impossible for the Sixers to thrive. But if you ask me, the key to this success is a total buy-in from Harden. And if he’s reading this, I can already imagine his eyes rolling back in disgust. But I certainly hope he comes to an understanding that being on this current squad gives him one of his best chances at winning a championship. So for Harden’s and my guy Joel Embiid’s sake, let’s hope for a resolution. They say that winning cures everything. Let’s hope a double shot of that will do the trick for Harden.